What is exercise medicine?
Exercise medicine is proven to give cancer patients the best possible life outcomes, by helping your body to heal itself. It can make some therapies work more effectively, speeding up your recovery. And it can also mean you have a better quality of life after your treatment, with less chance of the cancer returning.
The evidence for prescribing exercise medicine
Several studies have found that people who exercise during treatment report less fatigue and a better quality of life compared to those who do not.
A study, published in 2017, that looked at the effects of exercise on quality of life and physical function suggested that supervised exercise effectively improves both. (1)
Research carried out by the Australian Association for Exercise and Sport Science suggested that taking part in regular moderate exercise has both mental and physical benefits both during and after cancer treatment. (2)
How does it work?
Once you’re referred to GenesisCare for your treatment, we’ll make an appointment for you to see one of our qualified physiotherapists. They’ll work with you to prescribe a 12-week personalised plan focusing on your side effects, the goals you want to achieve and the physiological outcome you can achieve. The personalised plan includes both aerobic and resistance training, these activities have been clinically proven to provide the most benefit. All our physiotherapists and personal trainers have had specific training in exercise medicine for cancer patients – so you’re in safe hands. Once you start, your physiotherapist will track your progress through reporting on validated outcome measures, these will be taken on your first and last session. They’ll also pass on any relevant information to your consultant.
Our on-site clinics provide easy access to training and equipment and offer:
The exercise medicine app
We believe care should be available when and where you need it most, so throughout your treatment, you’ll have access to our free exercise medicine app powered by Technogym Mywellness. With this support, we can ensure you get to experience the benefits of exercise, even when you’re not visiting us in person.
If you’re unable to attend one of our centres regularly, you can access virtual exercise programmes, personalised to you, which help you build and maintain muscle mass during cancer your treatment and beyond. The app collects data which helps us monitor your progress. It’s straightforward to use so you can easily track your own improvements and link your wearable fitness trackers. As well as allowing us to support your physical recovery on a daily basis, the app offers you a familiar face and helps retain a sense of community.
We’ve received extremely positive feedback about the app since its launch in March 2020, with 100% of respondents said that our exercise team offer “the right amount of contact” during lockdown. Many patients who use our app also report a huge increase in how they feel about their health.
The exercise medicine app is already being used in eight of our UK centres, and will be introduced to the rest of the network by the end of 2021.